Why I ride a Bike:
The reason that I ride my bike instead of drive my car isn’t because I feel cool, or so that I can fit into a certain niche. There are two reasons that my preferred method of travel is the bicycle.
1: It’s more fun!
There’s nothing more to it really, it’s more fun than driving a car.
2: It allows me to serve my family.
This concept has been growing in me recently as I work towards my graduation from Viterbo University (only 4 more months and 2 classes!!!). Viterbo puts a very large emphasis on servant leadership in all of it’s majors. I’m very excited about the opportunities that I’ll have in the future to lead with the servant leader mindset.
That said, riding my bike allows me to serve my family in several ways. I’m healthier, so I will be able to be with my family longer, playing with my children and in about 20 years or so, my grandchildren. It saves us a LOT of money. Less money going into the gas tank, leaves much more in the bank. It gives me an opportunity to get out and do things other than watch TV with them!
I try to incorporate servant leadership into every aspect of my life, at work and at home. I’ll continue to blog about biking and being car lite, but I’m also going to write about being a servant as well.
Photo by timtak on flickr
One of my favorite things about riding a bike to work (or anywhere) is that I get to interact with the people on the roads and sidewalks. Today I had to smile as I was turning left and signaling my turn as in this photo. A young girl was at the corner on a trail-a-bike with her dad and she yelled out as I passed: “Good for you, young man! Nice turn signal!” I turned and smiled at the girl and she had a HUGE smile on her face as she was signaling their own left turn.
Its interactions like this that make your day, or even your week.
Photo by Surlyrider on instagram. This is what I want my garage to look like when I’m done with it (just a little bit bigger!)
Thanks to the fine folks at Calhoun Cycle in Uptown Minneapolis, who opened up shop without power after strong storms, I am now even more obsessed with cargo bikes than I was before! It took only a few minutes riding a Bullitt with a Nuvinci n360 hub to realize that this is the ultimate mode of transportation!
As it has been in the past, Ingersoll Rand is participating in the Endomondo National Bike Challenge and I’m tracking my miles on the site. The first year that we participated the only miles that were taken into account were transportation miles. There was a cool calculator that told how much C02 and money were saved by people riding their bikes instead of driving. Now, any miles on a bike are included and the number of participants is skyrocketing. This means that my choices to live in town and therefore have a shorter commute are pushing me down the leader board, into the 200′s. This isn’t winning and making me feel less than awesome. I did a little digging on the site and found that I tracked 776 car-replacement trips in the past 12 months. THAT makes me feel a little more awesome! The question becomes how and why should I be awesome?
I’ve been reading Jon Acuff’s book Start and have decided that I just need to stop trying to find my dream job and just keep being me and allow the awesome to come through. While I was reading the first few chapters of the book I wrote down a few things that I want to be awesome at:
- Community Building/Placemaking
You’ll notice that blog author isn’t on there. According to Jon, you have to draw a start line and go. First and foremost I want to be awesome in the eyes of my wife and kid(s), if I fail there it’s definitely game over. Bikes and placemaking are next in line – I want to prove to people that the car is definitely not a necessity and that by getting people out in their yards, parks and other public areas that society as a whole will benefit.
You’ll notice that none of the things that I want to be awesome at include my job. See, my job simply allows me to make money to support my family and to help me on my path to awesome. My job is ok, but it helps me to be awesome. I don’t have complete control over my job, but I do on my start line, if I become awesome enough and one of those things on my list becomes my job, great. If I become awesome and a new job opens up, great. If I become awesome, and this blog becomes awesome, and makes me money to support my awesome family, great. Even if I stay in the same job and I’m awesome, I’ve got that going for me…
1lessminivan is going to be the tale of me figuring out how to be awesome to my family and hopefully to the people around me. I’ve tried in the past to immediately make the blog into something much larger than it really is. It’s basically a journal and maybe someday somebody else will read it and find inspiration to become awesome too.
Mileage for 5/6/2013
There’s storm clouds on the horizon. It will rain, and people will think I’m crazy for riding my bike to work. My wife will demand that I drive in, my father will try to convince us to buy a second car, and co-workers will shake their heads when they see me come through the door with my helmet. The thing is, I love to ride my bike, even in the rain. People should have stopped when they invented the bicycle, its the closest to perfection that they will ever get. It’s efficient, it’s fun, it’s healthy, and it brings people together. Ever since I was a little kid, the answer was the bicycle. ”What do you want to be when you grow up?” I want to ride my bike! I was told that I couldn’t ride my bike for a living so much that I actually believed it.
I had my dream job when I was 16, working at Valley Ski and Bike. Even the building was the coolest place, it was two storefronts that had been combined together and since I was a mechanic, got to work in the coolest basement shop. It was old and dirty, and there were a maze of rooms to store things in, and even a cool coal vault that we stored unbuilt bikes in that was under the sidewalk. I could never wait to get to work, I loved it there, there was no place that I would rather be. I was told by my father time and time again that I had to make something of myself, that I had to go to school and get a real job. “You don’t want to work on the weekends the rest of your life, do you?” It was ingrained in me so much that I went to college right out of high school, not knowing what I wanted to be and failed out twice. Then I got an associates in computer science and my dad was so proud that I would be working the same place he worked for like 40 years. Now I’m finishing up my bachelor’s degree and 13 years later still at Trane, just like Dad.
It’s just like in Breaking Away, Dad just doesn’t get it, bikes are the answer to pretty much everything. Americans in general don’t get bikes either, but slowly but surely they are figuring it out. On one day at Valley, I was watching an old classmate remodeling a storefront and wondering aloud if I’d ever own my own business. I should have been listening to my boss when he said, take some business classes and this could be yours. The only thing I heard was fake voices of people in my head looking down on me. The thing is, if I was selling and working on bikes everyday of the week, I’d be happier professionally than I am now.
I’ll get there somehow, and some way. There are books all over the place about people doing what they love. I’ve always thought the bike was the answer, its why I ride to work rain/shine/snow. That’s why you’ll always find a bike near me.
Day 22 of #30daysofbiking brings back a character from my past. the #hatefulhipster. He rides a Trek Belleville and refuses to break from his hipster traditions and acknowledge anybody not wearing tweed. The world somehow seems right now – AND it looks like the weather is going to get better too!
Bikes are the answer.
Not many people get it, not even my wife sometimes. I ride my bike everywhere because I want to, not because I have to. When its raining outside, Linds tries to make me drive in to work and gets upset if I don’t. Thing is I’ve got rain gear, fenders, and showers at work and I really would still rather be on my bike than in the car. I like the feeling of riding in the rain, I always have. I also like the silence that surrounds me when I’m riding on my favorite neighborhood streets after a snow storm. To put it simply, it’s just better on a bike no matter the situation.
The past couple days have been tough, my thoughts and prayers have been elsewhere: in Boston, on my final few classes of my undergraduate career, some tough situations at work, and with my family. It’s amazing how much a simple bike ride can do for a person. My commutes always refresh my mind and get me ready to face the next issue that I’ll have to face.
I’m thankful to have 30daysofbiking to provide that extra motivation to get out and ride at least once a day even if it does feel like January in April out there.
This image is representative of the image I have had in my mind of the bike shop that I WILL own someday… Apparently it’s the hub in CA.
Sam’s first #30daysofbiking!